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Pacheco and Allen win primary races for Bernalillo County sheriff

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UPDATE: Democrat John Allen and Republican Paul Pacheco emerged victorious in their respective primary races for Bernalillo County Sheriff.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Allen is a former homicide sergeant with the department who garnered 41% of the vote among all seven candidates based on partial unofficial results last night.

Pacheco is a former Albuquerque Police Department officer and former state representative. He was leading among the four Republican candidates with 48% of the vote last night.

Bernalillo has the largest sheriff’s department in the state. Current sheriff Manuel Gonzales cannot seek re-election because of term limits. Allen and Pacheco will face Libertarian Kaelan Ashby Dreyer in the November election.

The primary races were crowded this year, with seven Democratic nominees and four Republican nominees on the tickets. Among the issues voters face in their choices are increased homicide rates, transparency, and social issues driving crime.

Bernalillo County has the largest sheriff’s office in the state and longtime Sheriff Manuel Gonzales is term-limited out.

Among the Democratic candidates three of the seven worked alongside Gonzales, a Democrat, who did not endorse any one candidate, but donated to the campaigns of former undersheriff Rudy Mora and current undersheriff Larry Koren, according to the Secretary of State's office.

The Republican race was much smaller, with four candidates vying for the spot.

Winners in the primaries will also be facing libertarian candidate Kaelen Ashby Dreyer in November’s election.

Many of the Democratic candidates have focused on investing in data-driven policing and underlying issues like mental health. State lawmaker and former Albuquerque Police officer Patricio Ruiloba, who raised the most money among the Democrats, also wants mental health treatment for deputies and stronger community relationships.

Republican candidates are touting increased funding and hiring more officers. Pacheco, who outpaced other Republican candidates in fundraising, said he’ll ask the Bernalillo County Commission for 75 new deputies


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Taylor is a reporter with our Poverty and Public Health project. She is a lover of books and a proud dog mom. She's been published in Albuquerque The Magazine several times and enjoys writing about politics and travel.
Megan has been a journalist for 25 years and worked at business weeklies in San Antonio, New Orleans and Albuquerque. She first came to KUNM as a phone volunteer on the pledge drive in 2005. That led to volunteering on Women’s Focus, Weekend Edition and the Global Music Show. She was then hired as Morning Edition host in 2015, then the All Things Considered host in 2018. Megan was hired as News Director in 2021.
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